As the anniversary of the 2011 floods is commemorated this week, Queenslanders can be assured that the State’s disaster response crews are ready to help during future incidents, with first class training, facilities and equipment provided by the Palaszczuk Government.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford inspected the State Deployment Centre today, a leading facility in disaster preparedness with the ability to respond crews to both national and international disasters at a moment’s notice.
Mr Crawford said when a major disaster occurs, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) officers were deployed from the facility with all the necessary tools to effectively respond to any incident.
“The State Deployment Centre is a first class facility allowing Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) to deploy to any disaster, anywhere in the world,” Mr Crawford said.
“Our specialist DART crews are deployed from the centre to major search and rescue incidents and have previously been deployed to international aid efforts like the Christchurch earthquake.
“The impressive facility houses modern resources, including satellite systems, specialised tools to identify toxic atmospheres, motorised swift water rescue craft, life detection equipment and flexible habitats.
“Equipment caches are deployable anywhere in the world and allow Queensland crews to be self-sufficient for up to 14 days in a disaster area, without using the finite resources on the ground.”
Mr Crawford said the facility was resourced to respond to all types of major disasters, including severe flood events.
“It’s been seven years this week since the 2011 floods, a sobering reminder of the history of flooding in Queensland,” Mr Crawford said.
“Since that major event we have equipped Queensland response crews with world-class rescue resources and training.
“The Palaszczuk Government has already provided 11 new motorised swift water rescue craft, which are positioned around the state and provide revolutionary swift water rescue capabilities to local communities.
“With six additional craft due for delivery this year, Queenslanders can be confident that our crews are well equipped to respond to swiftwater rescue incidents.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the nature of swiftwater environments meant training was always improving and adapting.
“Senior swiftwater rescue instructors have undergone internationally-recognised training and are ready for deployment into dangerous swiftwater environments,” Ms Carroll said.
“The rescue craft are fitted with outboard motors and can be inflated in three minutes, meaning rescuers will reach people faster and get to previously inaccessible areas.
“This is a first for emergency responders in Australia, as rescuers previously relied on paddled or tethered inflatable rafts to undertake rescues of people stranded in swiftwater environments.
“QFES plays a critical role in serving and protecting the community, and the introduction of motorised swift water rescue craft is just one step towards meeting those ever-changing needs and expectations.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford